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Porsche Night of Champions Notebook

Tony DiZinno’s notebook from the Porsche Night of Champions…

Photo: Tony DiZinno

Photo: Tony DiZinno

***Porsche’s two Porsche 919 Hybrids in 2016 will take the champion’s No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. Lineups were confirmed at Audi’s year-end event a couple weeks ago, with no changes from 2015, but a drop for both manufacturers from three cars to two at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

***It didn’t get a ton of attention during the event itself, but Porsche’s new 911 GT3 R is gaining traction, big-time, on a worldwide scale. Due to increased demand, Porsche has upped the build to 40 GT3 cars worldwide. Included among them are five GT3 Rs set for the Rolex 24 at Daytona, with a fifth TBA car set to join the four previously announced GT Daytona entries from Alex Job Racing, Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing, Black Swan Racing and Park Place Motorsports.

***Several drivers – Mario Farnbacher and Alex Riberas among them – arrived fairly late into Stuttgart following a test this week of the aforementioned new 911 GT3 R at Sebring International Raceway. Farnbacher has a confirmed seat with Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing, while newly re-rated Silver Riberas told Sportscar365 he hopes to finalize a deal of his own within the next week or so.

***Eight of the nine Porsche LMP1 drivers from this year were able to attend, with Nico Hulkenberg unavailable due to another commitment.

***A new format for this year’s Porsche Night of Champions in Weissach saw a mix of presentations, 2016 program announcements, and even a musical performance by an a Capella group. One-make winners were recognized at an earlier ceremony on Saturday; from a North American/IMSA standpoint, both Elliott Skeer (GT3 USA) and Chris Green (GT3 Canada) made the trip to Stuttgart.

***Porsche displayed the Le Mans-winning No. 19 Porsche 919 Hybrid, new Porsche GT4 Cayman Clubsport, a dual No. 91/911 FIA WEC/IMSA double championship-winning GTE-Pro/GT-Le Mans Porsche 911 RSR, Philipp Eng’s Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland No. 93 car, and a show car of the Porsche 911 RSR as the five vehicles on display at Weissach, site of Saturday evening’s event.

***The event also featured a wall of the “wall of champions,” featuring nearly all key contributors to Porsche’s incredible 2015 season, not just from a driving standpoint but also from other business and sport roles within the company, listed in alphabetical order.

***Porsche’s four Juniors have their racing programs confirmed. Sven Mueller and Matteo Cairoli will receive 200,000 Euros to compete in Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, and will be joined in the series by Mathieu Jaminet. Dennis Olsen will race in Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno) is Sportscar365's North American Editor, focusing on coverage of the IMSA-sanctioned championships as well as Pirelli World Challenge. DiZinno also contributes to and other motorsports outlets. Contact Tony

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